The next film installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange, is now just around the corner. Stephen Strange's debut in the MCU is generating considerable buzz, and fans are already looking ahead to his future as an Avenger - as well as what may be in store for the Sorcerer Supreme's sequel. With Doctor Strange marking the MCU's final film of 2016, all eyes will soon be looking to next year's batch of Marvel films. And for the first time, in 2017, Marvel will be releasing three MCU films in a calendar year. Those films are Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Thor: Ragnarok.
All three of the MCU's 2017 films are highly anticipated. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (which recently dropped its teaser trailer) picks up with the ragtag group of criminals-turned heroes, who grossed an outstanding $773 million worldwide (more than any MCU film not featuring Tony Stark's Iron Man). Of course, Spider-Man: Homecoming will give us Tom Holland's first solo outing as the webslinger and will also feature Robert Downey Jr.'s Stark. And while the Thor films have traditionally been the weakest outings in the MCU, hopes are pretty high for the Asgardian's third solo outing. Not only will the God of Thunder and Loki be back, but they will be joined by Mark Ruffalo's Hulk.
Question is, when will we see some proper Thor: Ragnarok footage? We might not have to wait much longer. Ragnarok's director, Taiki Waititi, announced on Twitter (h/t CBR) that he only has two more days of filming with leads, Chris Hemsworth (who plays Thor) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki). This of course means that Waititi can soon start working on post-production, perhaps inching us closer to some sort of teaser footage.
— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) October 26, 2016
Fans are certainly hoping that Thor's third solo outing will be his grandest yet, and elevate his stand alone films to the same standards as those featuring Captain America, Iron Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. And the ingredients are all there. Adding Hulk into the mix, and in space, is unquestionably exciting, especially given the similarities to a possible Planet Hulk-like story. Further, the additions to Thor: Ragnarok's cast are all very strong, perhaps setting up a more character-driven story than we have seen in past films.
Details on Thor: Ragnarok's plot remain thin, but we do know that Thor, Loki, and Hulk will be joined in the film by The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), Hela (Cate Blanchett), Skurge (played by Kal Urban) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson). Anthony Hopkins and Idris Elba will be returning as Odin and Heimdell, respectively. However, as was teased at the end of Thor: The Dark World and since then in Ragnarok set photos, we may find Odin in a very different position than we are accustomed.
Thor: Ragnarok will be the MCU's final film of 2017, and also marks the second to last film before Avengers: Infinity War (Black Panther will be released in-between). Given Thor's role in questioning the emergence of the Infinity Stones in Age of Ultron, it will be intriguing to see what bridges are built to the Avengers' third, and largest, team-up.
- Doctor Strange (2016) release date: Nov 04, 2016
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) release date: May 05, 2017
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019